Camino Nuevo Charter Academy is a network of college-prep schools serving 3,600 students, nearly all of whom receive free or reduced-price lunch and over a third of whom are English learners. The Dalzell Lance Campus, part of the Camino Nuevo network, has gained state and national recognition for supporting and investing students in the school's mission of going to college and becoming agents of social change.
As our high school seniors get ready to graduate, our list of college graduates continues to grow. Steven Colin (Class of ‘13) recently celebrated his graduation from Bowdoin College, an elite liberal arts school in Maine. Steven attended Camino Nuevo from sixth grade until his graduation from high school in 2013. As a student, he joined the Students Run LA team and ran the Los Angeles Marathon several times. He also was passionate about history and community service. His parents took him out of a district school and enrolled him at Camino Nuevo because they wanted the best education for him. After he graduated from high school, Steven chose to attend Bowdoin College, one of several schools that Camino Nuevo students visit on an annual trip to the East Coast. Steven is the first in his family to make it through college. His father, Efrain, went to college in Mexico, but couldn't afford to finish. “I always wanted him and his brother to get a degree,” said Mr. Colin, who is a janitor. “But it was really their mother who pushed them because I had to work nights.” Mr. Colin was unable to travel to the ceremony, but his wife and younger son were there to cheer for Steven. “Me siento muy orgullosa de el,” said Steven’s mother, Eloisa. “I am very proud of him.”
Like other first-generation students, Steven struggled in college, and at one point had to leave school. The transition to a mostly white, middle-class campus, far from his family and friends in Los Angeles, took a toll on his mental health his junior year. But with support and encouragement from his parents and his extended family at Camino Nuevo, Steven returned to Bowdoin after a year to finish his degree in education-Latin American studies. Steven is now back in Los Angeles to mentor young adults, help them navigate new experiences, and find meaningful careers through CITY Year LA. His goal is to become a teacher so he can close the opportunity gap for students in underserved communities. He plans to pursue a master’s in education and hopes to return to Camino Nuevo to teach history.
At the Dalzell Lance campus, 72 percent of seniors this year were accepted to four-year colleges. Steven’s younger brother, Axel, along with 72 percent of the Dalzell Lance campus seniors, was accepted to a four-year college. Axel will be attending Cal State LA in the fall.
Congratulations to Steven and Axel for their accomplishments!
This blog is a part of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' month long celebration of #CharterGrads.